In Real Life

Not feeling writerly, productive or particularly funny, something’s missing. I think it has to do with the fact that many people who usually interact with me via WP are MIA, still dealing with Hurricane Sandy issues. I want to say to those dear souls, “Hurry back, I miss you.”

As it always does, election hype has given way to the post-vote spin-o-rama. One of my favorite bloggers has written the perfect RIGHT BACKATCHA post today. The thing I loved about it is that no matter who you voted for, every word applies. I haven’t exactly shown enthusiasm for the leadership situation and have wanted very much for someone to prove me wrong, but it hasn’t happened yet. Taking the riffraff out early in the primary was impressive, but then again, that was a no-brainer and pretty much the highlight of the campaign season for me.

Leaders matter only because we say they do. People who motivate us, elevate us to our highest and best, those are leaders I choose to edify. I assure you that regardless of the historical contributions of political leaders throughout my short time here on earth, nothing compares with the hundreds of ordinary people who have influenced me. Case in point…

My Significant Personal Achievements As They Relate To The American Presidency

Lyndon B. Johnson 1963 – 1969

  • Arrived on the planet, strategically placed in the most politically ravaged, mired in the muck region of my country, The South. I suspect the reason for that was so I could experience poverty, sexism and racism first hand to prepare me for life’s little opportunities to excel.
  • Learned to talk, walk, and not shit my pants.

Richard Nixon 1969-1974

  • Entered the public education system, completely unaware how fortunate I was to be born white and how unfortunate to be a girl – Oh, and a smart mouth (Got my mouth washed out with soap in second grade.)
  • Truly believed there was a Santa Clause, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, and something creepy under my bed

Gerald Ford 1974-1977

  • Discovered pain is the price of freedom and thought I’d fully experienced it learning to ride a bike, roller skate and memorize multiplication tables
  • Changed schools three times not because of white flight, but because the rent was due it was Christmas time and that’s always the best time of the year to move.
  • Celebrated America’s Bi-Centennial by wearing a sparkely flag pin with a little gold ’76 dangling from it

Jimmy Carter 1977-1981

  • Discovered it sucks to be a girl
  • Discovered it sucks to be the oldest of five kids
  • Discovered if your dad drives a truck for a living he might get shot at on the highway for working to feed five kids
  • Prayed every night that my dad wouldn’t get shot for making sure steel was delivered so roads and bridges could be built all across my country
  • Learned that even if you are the president, your brother still gets more attention

Billy Beer

Ronald Regan 1981-1989

  • Failed both science and English, but passed algebra because my teacher was hot
  • Changed schools again
  • Decided to be a good girl and not go out for cheerleader
  • Participated in a mock presidential election as Geraldine Ferraro
  • Told a panel of pageant judges, “Yes I believe a woman can be president.”
  • Achieved significance in American society by graduating high school and contributing to Social Security
  • Almost shit my pants when I discovered I wasn’t the center of the universe, but that I could still fulfill the promise of a generation, see the world, and get an education if only I would volunteer to defend my country against all enemies foreign and domestic
  • Became a student leader and a student of what leaders do when the shit hits the fan

George H.W. Bush 1989-1993

  • Became a certified jet engine mechanic
  • Became a mom
  • Became a statistic in more than five categories

Bill Clinton 1993-2001

  • These were the lost years, but I vaguely remember that the shit hit the fan

George W. Bush 2001-2009

  • Paddled like hell to keep my head above water
  • Watched the shit hit the fan

Barack Obama 2009-

  • Got tired of paddling
  • Squared off with imposters triumph and disaster
  • Served my community
  • Embraced joy and sorrow
  • Made peace with myself
  • Wrote about what ordinary people do when the shit hits the fan

Here’s an excerpt from chapter twelve of Summoning the Strength

….Throughout Katherine’s life, politicians repeatedly violated the public’s trust. This time they had given corporate foxes a key to the proverbial henhouse. Katherine didn’t have time to feel betrayed. She had a job to do and she had to dig deep for inspiration.

I firmly believe the significance of a leader is not only their ability to inspire others, but also to understand that their behaviors can produce positive results when they appreciate the strength of their followers.

Thanks to The Green Study for my new blog bling. I’m pretty sure this post more than satisfies the requirement to tell readers 7 things about myself.

Feel free to check out some of the blogs I read regularly listed in the sidebar under Follow The Leaders.

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13 Responses to In Real Life

  1. Wyrd Smythe says:

    VERY nice piece of writing!!

  2. I like the way you tied in your achievements (and failures) with that of whichever administration was in power at the time. Interesting idea. Our timelines parallel each other’s quite well, too – though Nixon was already Commander-In-Chief when I was born. And, incidentally, when I stopped shitting myself.

    • Honie Briggs says:

      LOL, okay I can’t stop laughing! Yeah, it’s funny how we remember those “achievements” I wonder who will be president when diapers become part of my wardrobe again! HA! Crazy huh?

  3. artsifrtsy says:

    I love this post! I had very similar early stages – I have a Geraldine Ferraro button and I also am the oldest with attention sucking brothers. Why on earth were they shooting at your dad?

  4. Hey, thanks for the mention and the link. So happy to add to your bling collection!

    • Honie Briggs says:

      Yeah, I was going to reblog your post and then I thought, “why not put off NaNo writing a little longer and make it a presidential procrastination! Thanks :)

      • I’m behind on the NaNo word count myself, playing catch up while wasted on Nyquil. The household plague continues…..might improve my writing if I don’t fall asleep drooling on my keyboard.

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